The
Underachievers
CHAPTER
9
Savannah Survives the Day
“So, I did something. Kind of great and kind of bad. Hopefully the great part cancels out the bad part. Yesterday after school we washed off the latex paint and touched up our mural. I wish you could see it Kelsey. I think it is pretty cool. Even though we didn’t have permission to do it, I think it’s a good thing. Our school totally needs some color and ‘Dare to dream’ is a positive message. Just cross your fingers for me and hope that Principal Callahan lets us keep it up. Oh, and also that she doesn’t add on more detentions! The mural painting is awesome, Saturday detentions stink worse than Uncle Dan’s gym socks. That was so hilarious when Grandma’s dog smelled his socks and barfed!
I really wish you were still here to laugh about silly things like that with me. You don’t happen to have some sort of powers as an angel do you? Like maybe you can make my principal see how nice the mural is? Have her be so impressed that she cancels the rest of our detentions? I know you would do anything for your adorable baby sister, right? You just try to figure that out and I better sneak out of here before Mom gets out of the shower. Thanks for listening to me Kels. Bye.”
I put my ear to the door. When I didn’t hear anything I quietly turned the knob and cracked open the door. As I opened it more I stuck my head out. The coast was clear. I stepped out into the hall and quietly closed the door. I heard the shower door close. Mom must have just gotten out of the shower. Cool. I hurried quietly into my room and closed the door. I took off my gloves. Man they made my hands sweaty! At least there would be no fingerprints left behind. I grabbed my backpack and went downstairs for breakfast. I turned on the little TV on the counter. The weatherman announced another cold day. Wow, big surprise. I decided on frozen waffles. I put them into the toaster, and pushed down the lever. I grabbed the syrup and margarine, and then poured some orange juice into my treasured Marvin the Martian mug and took a sip. I looked at the toaster. In my best Marvin the Martian voice I said, “Where’s the kaboom? There was supposed to be an earth-shattering kaboom!” Suddenly the toaster popped up making me jump. Why does that darn toaster get me every time? I mean, I know it’s going to pop.
“Ouch, ouch, ouch!” I said as I put the waffles onto a plate.
I sat down to enjoy possibly my last breakfast, depending on how Callahan reacts to our mural.
When I arrived at school I looked up at the entryway, took a deep breath and headed for the doors. My heart was beating faster than it should. Despite the cold my palms were a little sweaty. I reached for the door and walked in. I was definitely nervous. Our mural was there. Some kids were talking about it, I think. I couldn’t hear what they were saying though. I didn’t see anyone I knew. I hurried to my locker and then to homeroom.
“Savannah,” said my homeroom teacher motioning me over to her desk.
The first bell rang making me jump, as I walked over to her. She handed me an office slip. I sat down and looked at it. It read, “Savannah Hoffman, mandatory meeting in principal’s office at 1PM.”
Oh joy. That didn’t sound good. Or could it be? I was happy when my friend Nora came in and sat next to me. I showed her the note and her eyes went wide. The first thing Nora said to me was, “OMG, are you going to get kicked out of school? Because I totally won’t survive the rest of the year without you.”
Ah friends, you gotta love them. Now that she had made me even more scared I needed her to change into her supportive friend mask and make me feel better.
At 12:58 my heart nearly popped right out of my chest. I kept reminding myself to breathe but it wasn’t helping. At 12:59 all six of us detention delinquents were seated outside of Principal Callahan’s office. They all looked as pale and as nervous as I felt. It was 1:00PM now! Where was my superhero? My knight in shining armor? My saved by the bell moment? The saving call from the state Governor with my pardon? A national emergency? My Mommy?
Too late. The door opened and the principal motioned us in. My body wouldn’t even faint for me. I sat in the furthest chair from the principal’s desk.
Principal Callahan closed the door and sat down at her desk. Her fingers interlocked as her hands rested on the desk. Her lips curled in around her teeth as if she were biting them. She looked up at us.
“What were you six thinking? Whose idea was it to paint a mural on the wall? I need answers,” Principal Callahan said calmly.
We all seemed to have lost our voices. Only nervous fidgeting could be heard.
“Braeden, was this your idea?” Callahan asked.
“No, maybe, I don’t know,” Braeden stammered.
“Either you did or didn’t? Was this your idea Zoey?” She asked.
“Um, I think it was my idea,” I said.
“We all wanted to do it though,” said Zoey.
“What possessed the six of you, who are already serving a month of Saturday detentions to disobey Mr. Dan’s orders?”
“Uh, Mr. Dan just told us to paint the wall. He didn’t say what color or anything,” said Braeden.
“And not one of you felt you should ask? What gives the six of you the right to just decide what to paint on school property?”
We all started jumping in with our thoughts about how we were doing something good for the school. How the school needed some art, some color, a positive message.
Finally the principal raised her hand which meant we needed to zip our lips.
“You won’t fire Mr. Dan, Right?” Asked Zoey.
“No, Mr. Dan’s job is not in jeopardy. He had a right to be concerned. This morning we had a planned visit by the Superintendent and members of the school board. The staff has been preparing making sure everything is in order so we would be able to put our best foot forward. Let’s just say we needed some budget approvals and some possible promotions were discussed. Mr. Dan was supposed to have you paint the wall to cover Braeden’s graffiti and give it a nice fresh coat.”
“Dude, you’re the one that spray painted ‘school sucks’?” Ben whispered loudly to Braeden.
“Benjamin! I’m speaking,” Callahan said. “Now Mr. Dan, was afraid that your painting might look poorly for our school inspection, and the fact that it was not approved could look bad for us. So he stayed late to paint over it. It seems we had some sort of break in last night to recreate your painting. Thus leaving us no time to repaint if we needed to before our morning tour and meeting.”
“For the record we didn’t break in. We just stayed after school while the cheerleader’s practiced,” I said. I was scared enough thinking we ruined their chances of getting more money for the school and their families. I didn’t want them to think we broke into the school.
“Did they like our mural?” Asked Zoey.
“I have to admit, I was shocked and very upset when I first came in this morning,” said Principal Callahan. “However, part of me was impressed with your good judgement and positive message. As it turns out, our visitors were very impressed with the mural and commended us for the positive artwork. I gave the six of you full credit of course.”
“So were not in trouble?” Asked Tyler.
“No, you are not in trouble.”
“Yes!” Yelled Ben.
“I want you all to start using your heads though. You need to learn to follow the rules, respect others and yourselves as well as school property. The mural, although a wonderful idea, should have been brought to Mr. Dan and myself for approval. Do you all understand that?”
We all nodded yes.
“Good. You will continue to work hard for Mr. Dan and do what he says. I in return will allow you to finish your mural. In the future if any of you want to express yourselves artistically at this school, what are you going to do?” Callahan put her hand to her ear listening for our response.
“Ask permission,” I said. The others said similar things.
“Alright then. Now get out of here, you’re all late for class. Mrs. Hobbs will give you each a hall pass.”
We got our hall passes and left the office. We all stopped to admire our mural for a moment.
“I can’t believe we get to finish it and keep it up for all to see! This is so cool,” said Zoey.
“I know! I was so afraid we were in trouble,” I admitted.
The guys were talking about some minor changes and colors they would use.
“We better get to class,” I said.
“We have hall passes,” said Braeden.
“To walk through the halls to class, not to stand around in the halls all day,” said Zoey.
“I’m so psyched we get to finish this mural,” said Tyler.
“The mural of this story folks, is to keep your art positive and to ask permission first,” said Ben.
“Very funny, now let’s get to class,” I said.
I was so relieved the meeting was all over and that we get to keep the mural.
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